Gun sales spike as more people buy them as gifts

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CLEVELAND – ‘Tis the season for buying firearms. While gun sales typically rise this time of year, with concern over terror and the potential for changing gun laws, this year they're spiking as guns top Christmas lists.

It's partially because of great deals from manufacturers but also driven by the recent terrorism in San Bernardino, California, according to Diane Donnett, owner of Stonewall Ltd. Semi Arms Inc. in Broadview Heights. Donnett said sales there are up 40 percent over this time last year.

“More and more people are thinking that when I'm out in public, maybe I should have something to defend myself,” she said.

According to statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, background checks for firearms purchases in Ohio totaled 81,616 in November, up 14 percent from the previous November, when there were 71,731 background checks.

Nationwide, background checks increased about 24 percent to 2,243,030 in November 2015 compared with the previous year.

Donnett said she’s also seeing a surge in people gifting guns this Christmas.

“We have had parents buying firearms for their children, we have had children buying firearms for their parents, and that is legal.”

Federally licensed dealers are required to conduct background checks on all gun BUYERS. However, in Ohio, background checks are not required among private sellers and for a person receiving a gift.

“Even though you can gift a firearm, would you want a firearm out there with your name on it that you don’t have control on?” Donnett said, recommending gift cards as a better option. She said those have been hugely popular this year, with Stonewall selling nearly 40 on Monday.

Donnett said her business is also seeing an influx of people signing up for gun courses, and many are bringing their whole family. There has also been an inundation of requests for concealed carry permits in some Northeast Ohio counties.